28 April 2010

The Ides of March

Spring has sprung!March was a very crazy, busy month between birthdays and employment issues and the weather changing and working out a bit,I still managed to read 5 books!

1) Started out finishing Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris. It's one of her best religion books. She tackles the vocabulary that sometimes inhibits a search and understanding of faith. Norris is at her best when she just relates her perspective and throws in a bit of historical theology to boot. Faith can seem distant to believers and non-believers alike. This bestseller brings what can be a strange language of faith down to earth. "The temptation to simply reject what we can't handle" and I might add understand might seem to be part of human nature. But as Norris says, "a perpetual seeking for something, anything, doesn't lead us back to where we came from". Perhaps the curiosity of human nature is confounded by unfamiliar vocabulary. Still, it seems to be equally to be the nature of human to seek understanding. This book can help.

2) Holy the Firm-Annie Dillard. I picked this up mainly because the content occurs in the Pacific Northwest.The nature of the PNW seems to invite introspection. Regional reading is a new intrigue for me but this was a disappointment.I found her writing dis-jointed and distracting. Wouldn't recommend this one.

3) Wild Goose Chase-Mark Batterson. Was looking for something along the lines of "The Shack". This wasn't it. Batterson has many insights that are easy to identify with but the whole enterprise seemed to be an advertisement for his ministry and church. I dislike it when it seems an author is trying to sell something and using f God and Christianity to do it. Don't recommend this one either.

4) Four Queens-Nancy Goldstone. I really like this historical novel. Like Phillipa Gregory Goldstone has done her research and intertwines truth and fiction extremely well. The thirteenth century history of Provence is unfolded through the lives of four sisters whose marriages of political importance and ambitions molded European civilization. So often history negates or ignore the contributions of women. These four women affected medieval civilization and fortunately their stories weren't lost to time. I definitely recommend this one.

5) The Best of Catholic Writing (2004). I picked this one up on a clearance table. Looking for a little uplifting reading and found it for the most part in this volume of writings. With short chapters written on newsworthy topics, it was handy to read on the go and still had room for thoughtful contemplation.

Next month there will be more fun reading as two of my favorite authors had new releases (Patricia Briggs and Richelle Mead). Those who read fairly frequently may recognize how one book may seem to lead to another, at just the right time for the reader. I alternate between contemplative faith reading and historical fiction and biographies to what I used to call fluff reading, Supernatural creatures among them.
I am not sure how they all flow into each other but they seem to in my mind. I cannot imagine a world without books!

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